When North and Heights play on Feb. 23, it’s the final time two of the City League’s biggest basketball stars will meet in the regular season.
Heights senior Perry Ellis holds the league scoring record and North junior Conner Frankamp is No. 5. Both are future Kansas Jayhawks.
There are few games of more interest, but the City League won’t move the game from the 1,200-seat Heights gym to accommodate a larger crowd.
“It’s going to be the last regular-season game ever played there at Heights,” said City League athletic director J. Means, referring to Heights’ new gym that will open before next season. “They want to make it special.”
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Means briefly considered moving the game, which will be televised on Cox 22, but he was concerned about the expense of renting another venue.
“Even though North sold out when it played Heights … we turned away maybe 500 folks,” Means said of the season opener. “Where I’m going is financially because there has to be a financial part to this, too.
“I have to have a tremendous crowd to make it worthwhile to move those games. If I move it to Koch Arena, for example, and we get snow that night, we could lose money. We don’t get that much revenue.”
Heights coach Joe Auer, who has in the past been in favor of moving games to larger arenas, doesn’t want to move the game. The Falcons have seven remaining games and two are at home.
“This game, it’s the last regular-season home game in our gym,” Auer said. “It’s a pretty historic game for us. There’s a lot of sentiment and importance for us that evening. And it’s senior night. We’ve got seven seniors being honored, along with cheerleaders and girls basketball (players).”
North coach Gary Squires isn’t interested in moving the game — unless it’s to North.
“They could move it to our place,” he said with a laugh.
When the possibility of moving the game from Heights was mentioned, Frankamp was against it. He wants the kind of atmosphere he knows he’ll get if the game is at Heights.
And Squires understands that.
“Good shooters like those close venues,” Squires said. “It’s about depth perception. The venue is a shooter’s gym. I like the surroundings in there.”